Rna Diagnostics Inc announced today a new study to investigate RDA as a predictor for chemotherapy efficacy in canine lymphoma in partnership with University of Guelph Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation and the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer at the Ontario Veterinary College. This study of canine lymphoma is based on the success of an initial canine lymphoma study completed in 2014.

Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent cancers for dogs, and is frequently treated with combination chemotherapy. While standard of care CHOP protocol is highly effective at inducing initial remission in most dogs, approximately 60% of treated dogs will either fail to achieve initial remission, or will relapse within 6 months. Second line ‘rescue’ therapy (CHOP or other agent) can be successful, but at this time there is no way of identifying which dogs should abandon their current therapy and switch to other rescue regimes, aside from waiting for them to fail to achieve remission or to relapse early. This study will focus on dogs who have failed to achieve initial remission or have relapsed and for whom rescue therapy is now being utilized.

“We hope to determine whether RDA can predict how well dogs with advanced lymphoma respond to their chemotherapy early in treatment, so they could be switched to another more effective chemotherapy if necessary. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that all dogs with lymphoma get the best treatments we have available. Since lymphoma in dogs is very similar to lymphoma in humans, the results of this study may also improve our understanding and treatment of human cancer,” said Dr. Brenda Coomber, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences; PhD; Co-Director, University of Guelph Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation, and Principle Investigator for the study.

The Ontario Centres of Excellence Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II fund  has provided $100,000 for the study. This OCE fund helps eligible Ontario companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting industry-academic collaborations.

“This is the kind of made-in-Ontario innovation we are always trying to find and are proud to support,” said OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “The work Rna Diagnostics is doing has the potential to not only change the way dogs are treated for lymphoma, it could provide valuable information that might lead to more effective treatment of the disease in humans.”

“OCE is a valued supporter. Providing funding for important studies like this ensures that we get RDA to those clinicians and patients who need it most,” said Dr. Ken Pritzker, CEO of Rna Diagnostics.

A recent collaboration (also with Dr. Coomber) between the University of Guelph and Rna Diagnostics funded by the Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust Fund, evaluated RDA’s ability to assess early response in dogs with lymphoma which underwent initial CHOP chemotherapy. This study using RDA to predict outcome in lymphoma dogs treated with CHOP showed very promising results.

By predicting survival outcome early during treatment, RDA has the potential to spare many dogs from ineffective drugs, enhance their survival outcome and save money. The overall potential from the clinical utility of RDA is broad because RDA is applicable in several types of cancer that affect not only humans but also companion animals.

About Rna Diagnostics Inc.
Rna Diagnostics is a cancer diagnostics company providing a platform of prognostic biomarker tools to help improve the lives of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Founded in 2010, Rna Diagnostics’ first product is the RNA Disruption Assay™. The RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) provides physicians with an evaluation of how individual patients are responding to chemotherapy as early as 14 days after 1st cycle of treatment. If chemotherapy is working, the physician and patient can continue treatment with confidence. If chemotherapy is not working, physicians may consider alternate therapies. For patients, this means avoiding harmful side effects and the possibility for improved survival outcomes. www.rnadiagnostics.com.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs.  www.oce-ontario.org